Despite heat & dry conditions, ODF lights fires to give recruits practice with the real thing

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. —Despite near-record heat, ODF used live-fire on Thursday, to get firefighters some active fire training, with the real thing. Firefighters not rushing to extinguish this fire, they started it themselves.

8 rookie ODF firefighters participated in the live burn exercises in a Central Point field Thursday late-morning. After completing the 2 weeks and 80 hours of fire school, it’s the last thing to check off their list.

“A lot of classroom learning a few hands-on activities, but this is their first time really getting to experience that live fire and seeing how it behaves, how the weather impacts it and kinda what they are going to be up against for this season,” said

The 8 practiced pump and roll tactics to practice putting down lining fires. They also dug hand lines, putting all they’ve learned to the test, in a controlled environment.

“They don’t have to be worried about an emergency situation or trying to save someone’s home, it’s really about the learning experience.”

Jackson and Josephine counties have already had well over a hundred fires this year. Despite bone dry conditions, and a historic heatwave, ODF felt it could do its annual training, safely.

“We have 50 firefighters out here, most of them who are very experienced, some have more than 20 years of experience, and they are here and right on the scene.”

A bulldozer and helicopter were also on standby, in case of emergency.

12 acres were burned today, in total. The training will continue tomorrow.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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